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12                   HISTORY OF PERSIA           CHAP, xuv
by Ibn Hisham,1 and the narrative presents a truly remark-
able picture of early Islam. In reply to a question by the
Negus as to why the refugees, although separated from
their own people, entered not into the Christian religion,
the Moslem leader said, "O King! We were a barbarous
folk, worshipping idols., eating carrion, committing shame-
ful deeds5 violating the ties of consanguinity, and evilly
entreating our neighbours, the strong among us con-
suming the weak ; and thus we continued until (Jod sent
unto us an Apostle from our midst, whose pedigree and
integrity and faithfulness and purity of life we knew, to
summon us to God, that we should declare 11 is unity,
and worship Him, and put away the stones and idols
which we and our fathers used to worship in 1 His stead ;
and he bade us be truthful in speech, and faithful in the
fulfilment of our trusts, and observing of the ties of con-
sanguinity and the duties of neighbours, and to refrain
from forbidden things and from blood ; and he forbade
immoral acts and deceitful words, and consuming the
property of orphans, and, slandering virtuous women ;
and he commanded us to worship God, and to associate
naught else with Him, and to pray and give alms and
fast/' Well might the Negus weep upon hearing this
exposition of faith, and exclaim, "Verily, this and that
which Moses brought emanate from one Lamp ! "
1 Ibn Hisham wrote the earliest biography of the Prophet about AJ>. 828,